Robotic ticketing: Is the innovation a friend or foe?


A lady booking flight online. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

Robotic ticketing, also known as auto-ticketing, is a technological advancement that has revolutionised the travel and tourism industry globally.

Globally, this technology has been adopted by several airlines and travel agencies to streamline their ticketing processes and enhance customer experience.

While some people have expressed concerns about the potential negative impacts of robotic ticketing on the tourism industry, I believe it has the potential to enhance the growth of the tourism and travel sectors in Kenya.

Travel agents have grown their businesses in recent years based on their capacity to increase and harness manpower.

However, with the invention of robots, most of the functions carried out by travel consultants can be achieved efficiently and effectively through auto-ticketing, facilitated by robots.

The adoption of auto-ticketing technology has led to a reduction in ticketing costs for airlines and travel agencies, resulting in increased revenue for the companies.

For instance, Kenya Airways reported a 28 percent increase in revenue in 2019, attributing it to the adoption of digital technologies.

Can you imagine putting out a ticket request with your travel agent on Friday evening for a Sunday trip and finding yourself at the airport with no ticket because the agent had closed the office for the weekend?

Adopting robotic ticketing will bring numerous benefits.

To begin with, robotic ticketing works by offering predefined quality checks of bookings made, confirming the status of air segments, checking segments priced and not ticketed in the system, assisting with constant repricing to pick cheaper fares, communicating rejected airline bookings due to missing details to the travel agent, and ensuring compliance with corporate ticketing policies.

Simply put, it eliminates human errors during ticketing, saves costs, and provides 24/7 ticketing services. Robotic ticketing allows customers to book and purchase tickets from anywhere at any time, saving customers valuable time and effort.

It eliminates the need for travel agencies and airlines to hire additional staff to handle ticketing processes, reducing labour costs.

Moreover, automated systems can process a large number of transactions simultaneously, reducing the overall cost of ticketing.

Thirdly, robotic ticketing systems can process transactions quickly and accurately, reducing the risk of errors and delays.

This improves customer satisfaction and helps travel agencies and airlines streamline their operations.

Moreover, robotic-ticketing systems can store customer data and preferences, allowing travel agencies and airlines to offer personalised services and promotions based on customer history and behaviour.

This enhances customer engagement and loyalty.

Additionally, robotic-ticketing systems generate data that can be used to analyse customer behaviour and preferences.

This helps travel agencies and airlines identify trends, improve their services, and make data-driven decisions to increase revenue and profitability.

Dr Kithitu is the managing director of Hemingways Travel.